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Making Android vibrate (because silence is overrated)

4 January 2011

I bought the excellent Tasker app a while ago, and did a few cool things with it, like setting it up to automatically go into vibrate-only mode in all my lectures.

I’ve been having more of a play with it over Christmas and now my phone announces SMSs from starred contacts and pops up battery charged notifications both on my device and via android-notifier on my desktop (which is always nice).

Something I have been having trouble with is changing the behaviour of the “Sound Off” switch on the lock screen and when you long-press the hang-up button. I’ve never used a completely silent mode on any phone I have ever owned, and on the occasion I accidentally did while I was in the library, I came out to missed calls and texts – oops. Thinking that it must be possible to solve this, I fired up Tasker.

I created a new profile called Always Vibrate.
I added a “Variable Value” state context. %SILENT Doesn’t Match off
Then I added an entry task which put the phone into Vibrate mode (Audio->Silent Mode) and an exit task which switched off silent mode and restored the Notification Volume to 4. The reason for the exit task being that if you use Peter Baldwin’s really useful Phone Silencer app, which asks you how long you want to silence your phone for when you put it into silent or vibrate mode, it defaults back to 100% volume – far too loud!

I couldn’t find a tutorial for how to do this, so perhaps this will help someone else! A word of warning: If you set the Variable variable to %SILENT Matches on, you end up in a pickle because the phone switches between silent and vibrate ad infinitum – massively unhelpful!

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